April 26, 2017 / 2:12 AM / 4 months ago

China will encourage coal miners to merge, restructure: state planner

Labourers shovel coal at a coal storage site in Hefei, Anhui province July 21, 2011.Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing will encourage coal companies to merge and restructure to increase efficiency in the industry and take measures to return thermal coal prices to a "reasonable" range, China's economic planning agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

The comment by the state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), came after a meeting with coal mining firms on Tuesday as thermal coal prices continue to rally while utilities that consume the fuel lose money.

The NDRC issued a similar release on Tuesday following a gathering late last week with utilities.

Reporting by Josephine Mason and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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